When Pennsylvania residents are unable to work because of a disability, they can face a variety of complicated emotions. There might be fear, anger or regret. No matter how a person is feeling about the situation, a person should make sure to understand that person’s legal rights. By getting appropriate help, people may be able to get much needed disability benefits. These benefits can help pay for necessities like food, housing and medical care.
However, it is not always easy to obtain Social Security disability benefits. While people work hard for these benefits, there is a rigorous application process. During this process, people need to prove that they have a disability that keeps them from being able to work. What types of injuries or conditions qualify as a disability depends on Social Security Administration rules.
Under these rules, a variety of conditions allow a person to qualify for benefits. According to recent reports, even a person’s inability to speak English has been enough for some people to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. An audit of Social Security has discovered that some Puerto Rico residents — who are U.S. citizens and, therefore, qualify for Social Security — have been approved for disability benefits when they can’t speak English.
In Puerto Rico, 84 percent of people cannot speak English well. Instead, 95 percent of residents speak Spanish. However, the inability to speak English can inhibit a person’s ability to gain employment in the U.S. It can also make job training and experience irrelevant, according to reports. For these reasons, hundreds of people have qualified for disability benefits. Experts are evaluating whether this should continue or not.
This example, however, is important because it shows the wide range of conditions that can qualify someone for benefits. With the right help, people can prove that they are unable to work and get the benefits they need and deserve.
Source: The Washington Post, “Puerto Ricans who can’t speak English qualify as disabled for Social Security,” Josh Hicks, April 10, 2015